HP Enterprise Business Executive Set To Leave

Thomas Hogan is stepping down from his position as executive vice president of enterprise business sales and market at Hewlett-Packard in a move that could shake up HP's all-important enterprise business during the company's transition to the strategies and vision of its new CEO.

Hogan, who reports to Ann Livermore, executive vice president of enterprise business for HP, will be replaced by Jan Zadak, managing director for HP Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Hogan joined HP in 2006 after serving as president and CEO of Vignette, a company specializing in enterprise content management.

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Hogan will remain at his current position until May 1, and will remain at HP to help with the transition, HP said in a statement.

HP declined to comment further on the news of Hogan's departure except to confirm that Hogan reports to Livermore.

The departure of Hogan comes at a time of change for HP which just six months ago underwent a change in CEOs.

HP in September hired a new CEO and president, Leo Apotheker, who as the former CEO of SAP brought to HP a software mindset the company had been lacking.

Apotheker replaced Mark Hurd as president and CEO. Hurd left HP in October after an investigation into what the company called improperly filed expenses and an improper relationship with a subcontractor.

Executive changes after the appointment of a new CEO are a part of HP's culture, said Dhruv Gulati, executive vice president of Lilien Systems, a Larkspur, Calif.-based solution provider and long-time partner.

"Hogan was hired under the Hurd administration," Gulati said. "I've got to believe there's a philosophy change with Leo. Every time there's a CEO change, there are other changes."

That's actually true at all companies, said John Convery, executive vice president of vendor relations and marketing at Denali Advanced Integration, a Redmond, Wash.-based solution provider and long-term HP partner.

"The new CEO comes in and sets the strategy, and wants to work with those who share his vision," Convery said.

Whether Hogan is leaving for a great new opportunity or because his strategies are not the same as the new CEO, in the end it's business as usual for the channel, Convery said. "HP as a deep, deep bench in its executive team," he said.

One potential big impact from Hogan's departure could be on HP's cloud strategy. Hogan launched HP's Instant-On Enterprise initiative to embed technologies such as cloud computing and converged networking into all a company's business processes.

Apotheker only last month broke his silence on his vision for the company by promising that HP will be a leader in cloud computing on the strength of an infrastructure, security, and connectivity portfolio second to none.

Hogan's experience at Vignette could be at odds with Apotheker's vision as the former CEO of SAP, wrote Aaron Rakers, an analyst with financial analyst firm Stifel Nicolaus, in a research report on Monday.

"We believe Mr. Hogan's software background likely raises some questions with regard to his view of HP's cloud/software strategy," Rakers wrote.

Hogan's replacement does have in his background something he did not: Both Apotheker and Zadak honed their business skills in Europe.

Zadak, in his role as managing director for HP EMEA, chairs the regional leadership team which is responsible for HP's EMEA strategy. Zadak also heads HP's enterprise storage, systems and networking, software and solutions, and services businesses in Europe. Zadak, a native of the Czech Republic, came to HP via the company's acquisition of Compaq, which he joined in 1997.